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Planetary Climates$
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Andrew P. Ingersoll

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691145044

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691145044.001.0001

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Jupiter the Gas Giant

Jupiter the Gas Giant

(p.136) 7 Jupiter the Gas Giant
Planetary Climates

Andrew P. Ingersoll

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines Jupiter's climate and what it reveals about the solar system. During its first 105 years, the solar system was a melting pot in which material from stars with different chemical compositions was blended together. The high temperatures resulting from the release of enormous amounts of gravitational potential energy aided the melting process. Aside from being the largest planet, Jupiter is also the one whose composition most resembles that of the Sun. The chapter begins with a discussion of solar composition, focusing on the abundances of elements in Jupiter's atmosphere compared with those on the Sun. It then considers the origin and evolution of Jupiter and the solar system more generally, along with the vertical structure of clouds and temperature. It also explains the presence of lightning in Jupiter's atmosphere, the Great Red Spot, enrichment relative to solar composition, horizontal temperature structure, and hot air ballooning.

Keywords:   climate, solar system, Jupiter, solar composition, atmosphere, clouds, temperature, lightning, hot air ballooning, Great Red Spot

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